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PennDOT - Center Square project in Waynesboro to start in October

February 29, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - While state Sen. Terry Punt announced this week that Waynesboro's long-anticipated Center Square project has an earlier start date, a spokesman with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has said that might not be the case.

Punt, R-Franklin, said he told the Rotary Club of Waynesboro Tuesday that he has taken steps to pre-order traffic signal poles that will allow PennDOT to bid the project in early summer and take advantage of the 2008 construction season.

However, PennDOT spokesman Greg Penny said the project remains within its previous time frame to have an October construction start. He said the transportation department has been talking with Punt to find a way to move up the bidding process, but hasn't done so yet.

"Can we do it as early as May or June? We don't know," Penny said.

Penny said that PennDOT feels the only way to launch efforts earlier would be to enter a design-build process, which allows contractors to do part of the engineering themselves.

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Punt and Penny agreed the fluted poles could take six months to arrive once ordered from the only manufacturer in the country. They disagreed on when the poles could be ordered.

"They can be ordered," Punt said. "They can't be delivered, naturally, until the contract is awarded."

"I don't know that we can order the poles earlier like he's saying," Penny said. The poles are ordered by contractors, he said.

PennDOT also prohibits final paving of projects after Oct. 15. The contractor will be permitted to do work with the foundation, Penny said.

Center Square will be "closed" as it is tightened from the existing layout, which controls the flow of traffic with double sets of lights in each direction. The reconfiguration will make Center Square a more traditional intersection and the only one to stop all traffic for pedestrians.

The poles that Punt wants to order are for the several traffic lights on Pa. 16 that are to be upgraded and synchronized as part of the more than $2 million project.

"The plan is to do the square, then the lights," Punt said. "After the new lights are installed, then we're going to resurface all of Main Street."

Punt said he wants the contract signed and the project under way before he retires from office at the end of the year.

"I don't want to see any foul-ups to delay the project after I leave office," Punt said.

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